For the past few weeks I realized that too many things were staking their claim on my time. My priorities were getting topsy turvy. From being on top my WIP had slipped to the bottom of my priority pile. And that was a BAD thing. How would I able to do justice to my manuscript if I just did not spend any time with it. Would I even be able to see its strengths ( I wish it has atleast a few). Would I be able to pinpoint its weaknesses (never mind).
If we want to get to know a person we do spend some time acquainting ourselves with their likes and dislikes, getting to know them a bit more intimately ( now don't get any wise ideas). All I mean is familiarizing ourselves with their tastes, learning what keeps them ticking, what are their turn offs and what touches them the most. I am very aware of what is happening in all my close friends’ lives, actually they update me about their status frequently and not just via facebook, but via long winded phonecalls.
So, isn’t it our duty to get to know our WIP more closely? Afterall our WIP is going to be one of our closest friends for a long, long time. How do we do that? Well….there are several ways. I love listening to music. That’s the quality time I spend with my manuscript. I plug in the ear phones and pick up a blank sheet of paper and start getting to know my manuscript more closely.
All my thoughts about my manuscript make their appearance on that sheet. What is the story about. Does it have a single turning point or several. Is my MC unique? How can I make her standout? Am I saying something new or recycling the old thoughts. Can I add an unusual element to the story that a reader has not come across before (this exercise made me add two new features to my MG manuscript). I just wonder where these inventions were hiding inside my mind.
Are these situations a little different from the other books. Why should a child pick up my book and not someone elses? What more can I offer in this chapter? Am I introducing anything new here (that particular train of thought made me add a love quadrangle). One boy and three girls, with my MC being one of them. It has added an entire new angle to the story.
As the music changes so do my thoughts. Can I increase the conflict, make the protagonist and antagonist clash some more before the grand finale. How do I make their clashes interesting? Which element can I add to their battle that has not surfaced in other MG books?
I have decided to continue this bonding exercise for many more days. Its opening up hitherto tightly closed parts of my mind, clearing up all the clutter and blowing away the cobwebs. And listening to music makes me happy and being with my manuscript more so. I realized that I hardly knew my manuscript, but, now I am getting to know it better and better.
How do you all spend quality time with your beloveds, I mean manuscripts. Your literary significant other. How do you get to know your manuscripts better? Do you have any bonding tips for us to try out?